Pleiospilos Nelii Succulent Care | 15 Awesome Facts |

Pleiospilos Nelii is a weird looking plant. If you have seen this plant before you would agree with me. They just look like a rock. Therefore they are commonly known as split rock, living rock, cleft stones or mimicry plants. 

I must say, despite all weirdness it is an attractive, blooming succulent plant. Interestingly, Pleiospilos Nelii is considered as an endemic plant in South Africa.

You can easily take care of this plant. Hence why many people like to grow this as an indoor/outdoor plant. This plant has many more significant features such as Hues and the shapes.

You only need to provide the basic growing conditions and in this article I am going to explain how to take care of a Pleiospilos Nelii in your garden.

Pleiospilos Nelii

How do I identify a Pleiospilos Nelii

You could identify the split rock plant by looking at its stone shaped leaves which you could spot in green or in brown color. They also have dark spots on their leaves.

These leaves will be grown in pairs. They could be either one or two pairs. New ones will replace the older leaves each year.

Split rock succulent plants could be 2-5 inches tall ( 5-13 cm ) and could be 3-4 inches ( 10cm) in width.

They consist of very attractive and eye-catching blooms. They are colorful and larger in size. Flowers could be 2-3 inches (6-7 cm) sized.

You could further identify these plants by looking at their blooms. Those flowers are yellow or orange in color. 

During the afternoon time, the flowers would spread their petals later on to close them back.As this happens, ultimately flowers will get dry. 

One look care guide

Botanical NamePleiospilos Nelii
Common Namestones and mimicry plants split rock
Plant TypeSucculent
Mature Size5″ (13 cm) in height 4″ (10 cm) in width.
Sun ExposureFull sunlight to partial sunlight
Soil TypeWell draining , sandy
Soil pHneutral
Bloom TimeSpring
Flower ColorYellow orange white pink
Hardiness Zones10a (Minimum 30° F | -1.1° C)
Native AreaSouth Africa
ToxicityNon toxic
Average price15 USD
Pleiospilos Nelii

How do you take care of a Pleiospilos Nelii

Light Requirement 

These plants would require full sunlight. Having said that, they won’t make any fuss even if we provide them with partial sunlight. They are flexible with that.

However if you consider growing this indoors, you might want to provide it light as much as you can so that they can survive well. Best recommendation is to grow them near a bright sunny window.

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Temperature and humidity

You could plant the split rock succulent in your outdoor garden as well indoor garden.

So that it could get bright sunlight. You should not expose it to intense sunlight especially during the afternoon time. Further you should not expose the plant to rainfall. 

This plant cannot withstand the colder weather conditions. As such if you are someone who lives in an area where the temperature drops to 30 degrees Fahrenheit or more,move the plant indoors in such situations .

You could simply bring it indoors whenever the temperature drops down and you could protect your  plant from those unhealthy conditions.

Is it cold hardy?

Split rock succulent is a plant which cannot thrive in colder weather conditions, Hence we need to take necessary steps to protect it from colder conditions.

Hardiness zone

These plants preferred Hardiness Zones to grow well would be  10a (Minimum 30° F | -1.1° C)

Watering Requirement 

Compared to other succulents, Split rock succulents would not want much water like certain other succulents. Ideally, you could apply the soak and dry method here .

In other words , you could first  let the water soak in soil well and then allow the soil to dry entirely.

You should change the watering frequency  depending on the seasons. When it comes to watering in winter times, over watering could cause root rots as well as for split rock to burst.

Pleiospilos Nelii

Soil Requirement Type / Ph

You should grow these split rock plants in soil types which don’t contain a lot of organic elements. Best is to use a sandy soil mix. Refrain in feeding them before their growing season comes.

Flowering and Fragrance

These plants  usually blossom in the spring season once their dormancy would be over in winter time. Once they bloom, you could spot them in orange or in yellow.  

Pot size Potting and Repotting

When you select a pot for these plants to be grown, ensure that they are about 3.5-4 inches in depth.

Moreover, ensure that it has adequate draining holes also so that the water could move through. It will avoid the plant getting root rot.

Since these are slow growing plants, you should do  repotting  once every 3-5 years. First of all, select a pot which is slightly bigger than the initial pot in which it was grown before.

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As they grow, that will help the roots of this plant to spread as they wish. It should have excellent drainage as well.

Alternatively, you could grow these plants outdoors as well. However, ensure that the soil is fast draining. So that the plant will not have to suffer from root rot. Moreover, ensure that you  protect it  from frost.

Furthermore, ensure that the one third part of the stem is inside the soil. then there will be just two third parts of the plant that will be open for air.

When you have repotted your plants, refrain watering them at least for a few days or even for one week.

That will stimulate the root system to get stable and to adjust to the  new growing conditions. If you wish you could water them after one weeks time.

Do not repot these plants, when they are in their dormancy period. Best recommended is to conduct repotting before early spring which is their growing season.

Pleiospilos Nelii

Where to Plant 

It would do well in full sunlight to partial sunlight. So, you should plant them in sandy soil and in a soil type which has excellent drainage.

If you wish to add one of these plants to your indoor collection , you should grow them closer to a bright sunny window.

Fertilizer and time of year

Split rock succulent plants do not depend a lot on the fertilizers. However if you wish, you may lightly feed them during their growing season


They will become dormant during the winter season.

Other plants Pairs Well With

Split rock plants  could make a great pair with Lithops.

Can it be toxic to pets?

Split rock plants are usually non-poisonous to both humans and for animals as well.

Common bugs and  illness issues

When it comes to common bugs and illness issues of split rock  succulents, over watering could be the worst problem that they would have.

This is the type of the plant which could get badly affected from additional amounts of water.

An over watered split rock plant could be the most welcoming spot for pests such as aphids and scales as well.

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Special Care tips

You could easily maintain these succulents. You do not need to do anything special when taking care of these plants.

Having said that , if you notice that the older leaves have not been absorbed by the plant, you could just remove them. You should do this only if you can remove them easily. 

In case those older leaves are still firmly attached to the plant, you need to wait for some more time and then they will drop their leaves on their own. This way you will not hurt or damage the plant

Pleiospilos Nelii 4 1

How do you propagate a Pleiospilos Nelii

When it comes to propagating these plants, there are two ways of doing this. it could be either division or by seeds.

In terms of propagating these through division, you could simply propagate them through dividing the leaves. You should take off the clumps during spring before the new leaves develop.

You should take off a leaf from the parent plant whilst utilizing a sterilized and clean sharp knife. Let it become callous for about two days. then proceed and plant it in a fast-draining soil type and ideally in sandy soil.

When it comes to propagating these plants through seeds, do not forget that it will take a longer time to grow them to a matured looking plant just like with other succulents.

You could collect the seeds of the split rock plants either from the stores or from the seeds reaped from the flower pods. You could sow these seeds during summer in a heated place.  

You could try a little trick in placing those seeds in water for 24 hours before planting them. You could plant them in a layer of sandy soil. 

Ensure that the soil is damp, but not too wet also  until the germination of the seeds take place.

Pleiospilos Nelii losing leaves and causes

Over watering could cause these plants to lose their leaves.

Pleiospilos Nelii plant benefits

These plants are very interesting and attractive plants. Hence, they would be absolutely beautiful once you grow them in containers.

Further we could use them in rock gardens as well as in succulent collections as well

Pleiospilos Nelii 3 1

Related questions 

Is Pleiospilos Nelii an indoor plant?

You could grow this plant as an indoor plant. But keep in mind to take the plant outside for sunlight or place the plant near a window..

Is Pleiospilos Nelii toxic?

Split rock plants are usually  non-poisonous  to both humans and for  animals as well.

Do Pleiospilos Nelii need direct sunlight?

It is not mandatory to give tem direct sunlight. These plants could thrive  well in full sunlight  to partial sun.

Credit to: Sucs For You!
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About author

I’m Dr. Chamika, As a hobby love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.